Hey, I love that question. It’s really controversial – just the sort of thing I’m often blog about.
In Pentecostal circles, we sometimes hear some fervent prayer binding Satan and rebuking him in the name of Jesus. This question suggests this might not be quite kosher theologically. However, God responds to our heart and our faith. He certainly doesn’t ignore us because our theology’s a bit skew, causing us to not use the exact formula required to invoke his power. This reminds me of the little girl who was fervently praying the alphabet. When asked, she responded that she didn’t know what to pray, but God would understand, and put all the letters into the right order for what was on her heart. Praying in tongues or with deep groanings is similar.
Zechariah 3:1 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him. 2And the Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?”
3Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments and was standing before the Angel.
So, the high priest was as corrupt as a person being a human ;-). Satan was bringing rightful accusations against him. The Angel of the Lord is old testament speak for Jesus – this is called a Christophany, which is an appearance of Jesus before he became human. Jesus said to Satan “The Lord rebuke you”. That’s a bit weird. Isn’t Jesus the Lord? It seems Jesus was addressing the Father. One could say that not even Jesus would rebuke Satan. Remember, Jesus had not yet earned the right to judge, which came through his sacrifice on the cross.
2 Peter 2:9 then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, 10and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries, 11whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against them before the Lord.
“Dignitaries” seems ambiguous whether this applies to spiritual dignitaries or worldly ones. It seems to me this applies to both.
Jude 1:8 Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries. 9Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” 10But these speak evil of whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves.
This seems to reference an extra-biblical source, which is presently unknown. Apparently verses 14-15 quote the Book of Enoch. It’s because of quotes like this that Jude almost didn’t make it into the Bible.
These verses are a pretty scathing warning to people who speak ill of authorities – whether spiritual or natural. The reason for this is that God has appointed all authorities, even Satan. They all have their particular role in God’s plan for the salvation of all who will recognize the Messiah, Jesus.